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Herstein article reveals more pieces of MvM story

The Herstein relatives’ take on the fall of Rabaul and the Montevideo Maru tragedy appraised by CHRIS DIERCKE, who's assiduously pursued the Norwegian connection with the story

Overall Benn Bolt's translation reflects as much as I know about the story, plus bits about which I knew nothing. It also reflects so many unknowns.

As of 2002, when the article was published, descendants of the Herstein crew were still in the dark about what happened to their forebears. Very little has changed.

In fact, the pursuits and achievements of the Montevideo Maru Memorial Committee to date have impressed the Norwegians with whom I'm in contact.

There are a few errors in the article, some probably due to translation: for example, New Britain is rendered as New England and coast watchers are called coast guards. And the date and time given for POWs boarding the Montevideo Maru (1 July at 3am) are both incorrect.

But the article, overall and in its detail, summarises the complexity of the Rabaul and Montevideo Maru tragedies and poses the question once more of what really happened to the Herstein crew and the rest of the hostages from Rabaul.

The author was correct in asserting that some prisoner lists did not include the Herstein crew. In fact some prisoner lists have only some crew members listed; some have no crew listed and a couple have them all listed.

I believe it's helpful and interesting to have received this article from Benn Bolt because it tells us a little more about Herstein and reinforces some information about which we were already aware.


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